Anfernee Simons talking Bond with Chauncey Billups and Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers have had a relatively unique season in terms of the amount of deals and injuries they’ve handled.

Among the brightest points of the 2021-22 season was fourth-year goalkeeper Anvernee Simmons’ breakout season.

Simmons, a strong candidate for the best player in the NBA, sat down with him Shams Al-Sharaniyah Stadium And the the athlete To discuss some of the highs and lows and lessons like Blazer.

This year, Simmons has been able to play more freely. Part of that came through necessity with the Blazers’ injuries. But he attributed some of that to the burgeoning relationship he discovered with new coach Chauncey Billups.

“He helped me tremendously. We are just in constant contact, we have an understanding of how I would like to train before the season, how he was going to direct me, what he sees, and what kind of player I am. We were right through the connection in the beginning, so, with Continuation of the year, we just built a great relationship. He can come and tell me anything he wants. No matter how it looks, I always accept it. And we go from there and communicate the things I need to improve, what I see and what he sees. It’s always good relationships back and forth, coaching And the players. It has been amazing to see him as a head coach for the first time and achieve this success and also coach me and help me sort of take my level to the next level.”

Taking moves from Damien Lillard

He asked Charania Simmons about some of the moves he’s made of Damien Lillard – that right base line side marker in particular – and how they’ve become similar. Simmons noted that they had the same coach, and added this thought:

“That comes with training with him in the off-season a lot, sort of learning from him what moves are effective, so I just want to add that to the arsenal, to be able to do that. It’s a very tough shot, hard to protect. I wanted to have that in the arsenal. Just in case I needed it, and I needed it in Memphis.”

The connection between Simons and Lillard is well documented, particularly in how Simons has been able to absorb knowledge from the six-time All-Star, as well as his former teammate CJ McCollum. Simmons said Lillard would come, even in the middle of games where Simmons wasn’t playing and teaching him. McCollum, similar to Simmons in that he wasn’t a standout player of his rookie year, told Simmons not to worry about when it would come, and just to stay fit.

Simmons highlighted his reaction to the trade as well:

“He’s been there my whole career, and he’s actually been there for nine years. Just seeing him leave was kind of weird because he’s just one of those guys you never thought would leave. It was weird seeing him the next night dressed as a pelican and seeing him play. Obviously. , I’m glad everything went well to where he wants to go. I’m praying for him in his new setting.”

It’s unclear whether Simmons will be able to make an appearance in the post-season for a breakout season show, though there is one piece of hardware – the NBA Most Improved Player award – that his play allowed him to campaign for. He talked about the potential of that, in being one of the best mid-season favorites to win it. Call it his “goal,” especially now that he’s started.

As he became a star at the Blazers, Simons was also tasked with becoming a passionate on-court leader for a group of youngsters. In reflecting on his process toward becoming a leader, he recalled what he learned from Lillard:

“Just watching Dame and CJ and how they carried themselves every night. Things they needed to say, how they behaved on court. Just with little things like, as a captain, you should never hang your head during a game or never show acts of frustration. Things like that go a long way.” In showing your team that you’re still with them, that you’re still poised. These are some of the little things I’ve seen, and they’ve told me to always act and be ready in every situation, no matter what goes well or bad.”

Over the course of the year, Simmons had career highs in points per game (17.0), assists (3.9), field goal percentage (44.7) and three-pointers (162).